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Ironic games

Happiness and Economics

A Sketch of Happiness

A person is said to be happy when he demonstrates the ability to synthesize information in what Einstein captured nicely in the phrase “combinatory play”. The being of self-assurance and the ability to take risks. In some respects happiness is subversive, since it disrupts existing patterns of thought and being.

Joseph Schumpeter, the great economist described it as the “perennial gale of creative destruction” as the very essence of capitalism:

In capitalist reality, as distinguished from its textbook picture, it is not [price] competition which counts but the competition from the new commodity, the new technology, the new source of supply, the new type of organization… competition which commands a decisive cost of quality advantage and which strikes not at the margins of the profits and output of the existing firms but at their foundations and their very lives

Economists, physicists, and historians alike realize that there is a deep difference between homo economicus and homo happytius. One makes the most of claims that nature permits him to have – determined and lock-end. The other rebels against nature’s dictates. A being that flourishes best in a unique kind of social environment of thriving: one that is stable enough to allow continuity of effort, yet diverse and broad-minded enough to nourish in being creative in all its subversive displays. The penultimate issue, perhaps, with the emergence of happiness is the tension it stirs up. For the simple reason it disrupts, and by its very nature, being institutionally weak, needs to stand over against that its Being disrupts – Fear.

Richard Florida “The Rise of the Creative Class: And How it’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, Basic Books.

Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, p 84.

About Reputationist

When I started this blog in 2007 the following is what I was up to - things have changed - some. I'm what my handle states - an Oldude. The problem with this acknowledgment is my thinking and ambitions have not quite got the message of my "oldness". I've started an online Coaching practice and my rant is about how to improve long term happiness - For the World. My thing, I believe I can change the world - isn't that a hoot. The way I intend to change the world is to foster a wider and deeper appreciation for "mindfulness": The daring, flair and grace of Jayz; the political savvy of Cornel West; the creativity of Mos Def with the business and cultural daring of Richard Simmons. I've thought enough - being a philosopher of sorts - and trained hard with some of the sharpest minds ever on the planet - Cornel West and Michel Foucault to know the total absurdity of trying to change the world - but I do and I will. There it is showing my age again.


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